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Soccer World Cup

World Cup: European Playoffs Are Set

WC

Photo courtesy of the official 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Facebook page

The FIFA World Cup playoff ties from Europe are finally set, with the winners be decided after the second legs are played on November 19, 2013.

Here are the fixtures:

Portugal-Sweden
Greece-Romania
Iceland-Croatia
Ukraine-France

The first tie is arguably considered the most mouth-watering as two icons of the game today clash in Cristiano Ronaldo and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. These two are both known as game-deciders with their brilliant vision and knack for scoring at the right moment.

If we want to determine which nation has more talent, it would have to be Portugal as they have a solid defense, midfield and decent strike force. Sweden on the other hand are susceptible when it comes to defensive duties, while their midfield and and attack can win big games from time to time.

Greece will be considered favorites against Romania since they have made it to almost every major tournament since the 2010 World Cup, whereas their opponents have been absent since EURO 2008. This will not be an easy tie for either side, as both will be brilliantly coached and will carefully ply their trade on the field.

Iceland have never participated in a major tournament before but nonetheless made it all the way to the playoff stage. They will be facing a stern test against the Croatians, who were in the playoffs prior to EURO 2012, where they successfully dismantled Turkey over two legs.

This will be the biggest two games of the Icelandic players who will be led by Tottenham‘s Gylfi Sigurdsson, who is having a decent season with his club. Croatia are the favorites due to their experience and recent success.

The Ukrainians will simply have their hands full with the French, who are heavily favored to advance to the group stages. These two actually met in the Ukraine during EURO 2012 with the visitors leaving 2-0 winners. Nothing different is expected except maybe a different score line.

These will all be decent games to watch with a place in the world’s best soccer tournament at stake. Go ahead and enjoy watching there countries battling on the pitch.